Enrollment » Attendance Requirements

Attendance Requirements


California's compulsory education laws require children between six and eighteen years of age to attend school,
with a limited number of specified exceptions.

Under state law, a pupil who, without a valid excuse, is absent from school for three full days in one school year,
or is tardy or absent for more than 30 minutes during the school day on three occasions in one school year, is
considered truant.

The California Legislature defined a truant in exact language. In summary, it states that a student missing
more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year must be classified as
a truant and reported to the proper school authority. This classification and referral help emphasize the
importance of school attendance and is intended to help minimize interference with instruction.

In addition to the reporting requirement, the law states that the school district must notify the parent or
guardian of the truant by the most cost-effective method possible and that the notification must include
specific information related to the student's unexcused absences. The EC Section regarding notice reads as

EC Section 48260.5: Upon a pupil's initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil's
parent or guardian by using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a
Telephone call:

(a) That the pupil is a truant.
(b) That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.
(c) Parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to
prosecution under Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27.
(d) Alternative educational programs are available in the district.
(e) The parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss
solutions to the pupil's truancy.
(f) The pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.
(g) The pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil's driving privilege
under Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.
(h) It is recommended the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with
the pupil for one day.